A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 265: Golden Fool, Chapter 15

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.


The next chapter, “Quarrel,” opens with an in-milieu commentary on what might be called tourist attractions in the Out Islands. The text pivots thence to Fitz ruminating on Thick and on his own comments to Chade not long before. At length, he recalls having received intelligence, which he begins to review. As he does, he finds confirmation that his true identity is known, and by those he can least afford to have know it; he mulls over the implications of it and of the ensuing events.

It doesn’t go well for either of them, no.
Katrin Sapranova’s The Quarrel, used for commentary.

Fitz determines to discuss matters openly with Chade and with the Fool, and he goes off to sleep–poorly, against Nettle’s dream-driven Skill-work. The next morning, he rises and collects Lord Golden’s breakfast in his guise as Badgerlock, and is bidden take a small flower arrangement along with the tray. Returning to the chamber, he asks the Fool for a whistle for Thick before confronting him about the performance of Amber with Jek. It does not go well for either of them, leaving each of them emotionally wounded by the other. The problem is exacerbated by the Fool’s illness, and Fitz chews sullenly over his old words and older recriminations for the next several days as the Fool keeps to himself and the Bingtown delegation departs.

Kettricken occasions comment by riding out to interrupt an execution, redeeming the accused and imposing a stiff injunction against the offending community. Controversy surrounding treatment of the Witted emerges as she issues a call for a Witted delegation to attend to her. And, after an exchange with Chade, Fitz is admitted to attend upon her, as well. They confer about Nettle, their conversation prickly but ending in amity.

I note with some satisfaction that the concern I voice in commenting on the previous chapter, that promises made to Fitz seem to be up for renegotiation, is addressed in the present chapter. I note, too, that the tensions among characters are not brought up and dismissed, even as Fitz makes changes to his behavior (or starts to do so). It’s not so easy to set aside years of practice, particularly when those years are angry ones full of impetuous decisions that end up causing no small harm. It’s something that, like Fitz, I learned (insofar as I have learned it; I’m not a good student in all subjects) far later than ought to have been the case.

There’s a reason “to teach and to delight” have long been called the ends of literature…

I should note, too, before I forget, that many of the works treated in the Fedwren Project speak explicitly to the Fool’s performance across gender roles, the very thing for which Fitz unsuccessfully tries to upbraid the other. That the attempt is unsuccessful says something worth considering, I think…

I’d be happy to put my talents to work for you; let me know what all you need written, and we’ll talk!

4 thoughts on “A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 265: Golden Fool, Chapter 15

  1. […] Fitz’s tutees are described as the four sit to practice their magic together. They report minimal success with a practice assignment, but Thick and Dutiful both report having dreamt of a blue dragon in the night. Fitz elucidates Dutiful’s report to Chade, Thick contributing some information, as well, and Fitz notes his supposition that the dragon in question is Tintaglia. They converse further, FItz and Chade speaking at some length after the training session ends. Chade notes his worries for his intelligence efforts, and the continuing threat of the Piebalds is noted. Fitz offers aid, and Chade makes another play for Nettle, despite Kettricken’s earlier words on the matter. […]

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